Driving Through Wintry Weather

We wanted to post a quick prayer request. We are driving through slushy/snowy roads right now near Emporia, Kansas. It’s amazing that we had bad weather on the way out and even worse on the way home :-). Please pray for our safety as we drive the last few hours. We’ll give a conference report later.

Sarah for all 12 of us

Posted in: Misc., Travel

On Our Way to Perryton, Texas

We are on our way to the weekend conference in Perryton, Texas. Wintry weather moved into Kansas this morning, and we had sleet and light snow. The roads were for the most part okay. The weather will be warm (around 50 degrees!) tomorrow, so we’re grateful for that. Please pray for those are coming to the conference, that the Lord Jesus will work in hearts.

The boys dived into a quick project before we left: they built a wall for the boys’ bunk area. This will make it so that we only have to heat a portion of the bus at night. The generator is now wired up so the boys will be able to run a couple of space heaters.

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We are excited to have Nathan and Melanie join us this weekend. We look forward to meeting some of you!

Joyfully His,
Sarah for the rest of the family

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Anna and Mary about to get into the bus. (Notice the little “insect” Anna is holding? We bought him and his buddy, “Pray”, at a store in Arizona. “Pray” hangs off of the ceiling near the front, and we need to now find a good place for his buddy. When we hit a bump, “Pray” jumps/bounces :-).)

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Grandad and Grandma waving good-bye.

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We all gathered inside the bus to pray, rather than outside because of the weather.

This Past Week

We’ve continued to see the Lord’s faithfulness in our lives this past week. We are praying and preparing for the conference in Perryton, Texas next weekend. Nathan and Melanie are planning on going with us as well.

This week, we kept busy with normal life, school, and house projects. A big corner was turned: interior painting has begun! Joseph and John have been finishing up mudding. We still have much house work ahead of us, but it’s refreshing to see color on the walls.

May you have a blessed week.

Joyfully His,
Sarah

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Mary and Honey :-).

Anna

Anna painting.

Dad

Dad preparing to paint another room.

Anna

John mudding

Challenges and a Saturday Retreat

The last week has held some challenges as we’ve settled back into normal life again. It’s not surprising because we always find before a ministry trip we experience challenges, and sometimes afterwards it can be the case as well. I’m sure each one of us experiences challenges throughout our week. What are we doing during those times – resting in Jesus or worrying? “Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof” (Matthew 6:33-34).

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Saturday Mom spoke at a Ladies’ Retreat in Lenexa – only 40 minutes from our house. It’s a treat for Mom when speaking means she gets to sleep in her own bed the night before and not have to pack a travel bag! When we arrived, we were blessed by several people who helped us carry our book table things in and set up. Many ladies attended this one-day retreat. They were extremely responsive to what Mom shared, and it is our prayer that each mom was encouraged by her day away. We always love to see the little ones at these conferences. At this conference, though, the older children were home with Dad while it was the nursing babies who were with the moms – such cute babies, too! 🙂

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(One such cute little one :-).)

Thank you to all those who are continuing to pray for Nathan and Melanie’s baby who is due June 25th. What an incredible gift from the Lord!

Joyfully His,
Sarah

Feb Baby Maxwell Update

I would be remiss if I didn’t begin by thanking so many of you for your faithful prayers on our behalf. Melanie and I have been encouraged and challenged by your faithfulness. Encouraged that we are so graciously remembered before our Father’s throne; challenged as we seek to be faithful in lifting up others we know of with needs.

The biggest news we have on Baby Maxwell’s progress is related to a recent Dr’s appointment. Due to the challenges with Susannah, we were encouraged to have a Level 2 ultra-sound at 18-20 weeks. This happened about a week ago. Let me digress briefly into some information on a Level 2 in case readers aren’t familiar with this. We had a number of Level 2 ultra-sounds (L2 US) with Susannah. An L2 US uses regular US equipment, but the technician spends more time measuring different aspects of the baby, looking at organs, and checking things on the child you didn’t know needed to be checked. A L2 US is also differentiated from a standard one in that a specialist, in our case, a peri-natalogist, reviews the scan pictures and will even operate the US machine himself/herself to check things. A L2 US, last pregnancy, is what found the stomach issue in Susannah. What is grieving to us, is that though they are looking at all things related to the baby, it would be safe to rename the L2 US a “Down Syndrome Screen” as many of the measurements and things they look for are then correlated to Downs markers. These markers are of uncertain accuracy – many children with them don’t have Downs and vice versa. I can only image how many children are matched up against Down’s markers, possibly followed with more testing, and then their lives taken (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Down_syndrome#Ethical_Issues). We are committed to loving, raising, and caring for any child God gives us, being special to us regardless of whether others apply the same label.

We would have liked to avoid the entire scan. But not knowing whether this child would need special care later on, we felt it was in his/her best interest to have it done. That would allow us to arrange the care he/she needed ahead of time instead of being in reactionary mode. We were prepared to have all kinds of bad news given to us.

Back to the appointment, we praise the Lord that neither the US technician nor the doctor were able to find anything that concerned them regarding what they saw. Everything looked great they said. This was a huge relief to Melanie and I. We couldn’t believe that they found nothing of concern. This obviously doesn’t mean there will not be challenges later on, but it does allow us to stay out of the “high-risk” category and select our doctor/hospital – something we’re now praying about.

The other big news is that Melanie is feeling baby move.

Thank you for your continued prayers for us as we journey through this pregnancy. We’re excited to be approaching the half-way point.
Nathan

Yuba City and the East Bay Conference Report

Last Thursday was a rainy, cool day in Yuba City. We had a quiet day at the hotel, catching up on computer things, and the children worked on school. That evening, as we girls were setting up the book tables, a young boy offered to help. He had a sweet spirit, and he told me about a business he has selling candy bars. We were amazed to hear about his diligence and industry, but then what impressed us was when we heard what he did with the money he earned: he gives it to the poor! A lady provided a dinner for us: complete with tri-tip marinated meat. This was only the second time we’ve had this meat, and it’s the most unbelievable tender, juicy meat. Thank you for this special treat :-).

Friday morning we drove through stiff winds, but we made it to Livermore safely. Cornerstone Fellowship graciously let us use their facilities, and the rooms they gave us worked out extremely well. Meals were provided Friday night and Saturday—we are grateful for the wonderful food!

Conference Sign

Many families we talked to had driven several hours to be able to come. We are grateful for their extra investment of time. Friday night’s music session for the most part went smoothly, although we had a few minor things, like the dobro being knocked off it’s stand. It wasn’t even noticed by the person starting the next song, so things continued :-).

Since there are so many of us, we have chances to talk to quite a few of the families throughout the weekend. After the conference, we love to sit around and share about the different people we talked to and what they told us regarding their lives and what the Lord Jesus is doing. One very special highlight was meeting a family who started a nursing home church last year. We were thrilled to chat with them, as brief as it was, and to meet another family who had started such a ministry.

Mom giving Loving Your Husband

(Mom giving the Loving Your Husband session Saturday afternoon.)

We will be posting some more thoughts on the trip later, but we wanted to give you a weekend report!

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The little ones that come to the conference are such a delight. Here’s a cute little girl playing on the floor near her mom.

Only for Jesus,
Sarah for the rest of the family

The Maxwell family and ministry blog of Titus2.com.